Judith Ortiz Cofer

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Judith Ortiz Cofer
Judith Ortiz Cofer.jpg
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Born February 24, 1952
Hormigueros, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Period 10
Genre Poetry, short stories, autobiography, essays, young adult novels
Notable works A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood

Judith Ortiz Cofer[note 1] (born in 1952) is a Puerto Rican author. Her work spans a range of literary genres including poetry, short stories, autobiography, essays, and young-adult fiction.

Early years[edit]

Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, on February 24, 1952.[1] She moved to Paterson, New Jersey with her family in 1956. They often made back-and-forth trips between Paterson and Hormigueros. In 1967, her family moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she attended Butler High School. Ortiz Cofer received a B.A. in English from Augusta College, and later an M.A. in English from Florida Atlantic University.[2]

Ortiz Cofer's literary work[edit]

Ortiz Cofer's work can largely be classified as creative nonfiction. Her narrative self is strongly influenced by oral storytelling, which was inspired by her grandmother, an able storyteller in the tradition of teaching through storytelling among Puerto Rican women. Ortiz Cofer's autobiographical work often focuses on her attempts at negotiating her life between two cultures, American and Puerto Rican, and how this process informs her sensibilities as a writer. Her work also explores such subjects as racism and sexism in American culture, machismo and female empowerment in Puerto Rican culture, and the challenges diasporic immigrants face in a new culture.[2] Among Ortiz Cofer's more well known essays are "The Story of My Body" and "The Myth of the Latin Woman," both reprinted in The Latin Deli.

In 1984, Ortiz Cofer joined the faculty of the University of Georgia, where she is currently Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing. In April 2010, Ortiz Cofer was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.[3]

In 1994, she became the first Hispanic to win the O. Henry Prize for her story “The Latin Deli”. In 1996, Ortiz Cofer and illustrator Susan Guevara became the first recipients of the Pura Belpre Award for Hispanic children’s literature. [4]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Peregrina (1986)
  • Terms of Survival (1987)
  • The Line of the Sun (1989)
  • A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1990)
  • The Latin Deli (1993)
  • Reaching for the Mainland and Selected New Poems (1995)
  • An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio (1995)
  • Catch The Moon (1996)
  • The Year of Our Revolution (1998)
  • Sleeping with One Eye Open: Women Writers and the Art of Survival (1999)
  • Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming A Writer (2000)
  • The Meaning of Consuelo (2003)
  • Call Me Maria (2004)
  • American History
  • A Love Story Beginning in Spanish: Poems (2005)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
    This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Ortiz and the second or maternal family name is Cofer.


  1. ^ Honoree - Georgia Writers Hall of Fame
  2. ^ a b Judith Ortiz Cofer
  3. ^ "Writers hall picks four inductees". Online Athens (Athens Banner Herald). September 19, 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Hispanic Firsts", By; Nicolas Kanellos, publisher Visible Ink Press; ISBN 0-7876-0519-0; p.40

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

"The Myth of the Latin Woman"